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December 2014 Archives

December 2, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Medals Revealed


The collection of all new finisher medals for the sixth annual Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend were revealed this week. The collection includes medals for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Disney Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge.

With more than 26,000 runners participating in events throughout the weekend, Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has quickly become one of the largest women-specific endurance events in the country. This signature runDisney event features events for the entire family, including the Princess 5K, the Enchanted 10K and runDisney Kids Races. The 13.1-mile highlight event takes runners through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot starting at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 22 at Walt Disney World Resort.

December 5, 2014

Live ‘Frozen Fun’ Opens at Disney California Adventure Park

Sneak Peek Begins Dec. 20 for New Adventures with Popular 'Frozen' Characters, Including New Home for Anna and Elsa, Live Sing-Along and 'Olaf's Snow Fest'

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2014) - The Disneyland Resort celebrates the opening of spectacular new "Frozen Fun" beginning Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, featuring magical adventures with characters from the Walt Disney Pictures blockbuster film. Guests at Disney California Adventure Park will be able to meet Anna and Elsa in a new location, sing along with the "Frozen" soundtrack, play in the snow, meet Olaf the snowman and "chill out" at a nighttime, family dance party.

A sneak peek of many of the live experiences begins Saturday, Dec. 20, in Disney California Adventure and a new "Frozen"-themed show opens in Disneyland Park Jan. 7, 2015. "Frozen Fun" continues for a limited time at Disney California Adventure. For specific dates, along with places to see Anna and Elsa beyond "Frozen Fun," guests may visit Disneyland.com.

Anna and Elsa will relocate Dec. 20 from their Fantasyland greeting area in Disneyland to a roomier new home, "Anna & Elsa's Royal Welcome," inside the Disney Animation building in Disney California Adventure Park. Additional new "Frozen" experiences in the Hollywood Land area of the park include "For the First Time in Forever" - A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration in the newly dubbed Crown Jewel Theatre; the immersive "Olaf's Snow Fest" featuring snow play, music, food and Olaf himself, and an after-dark offering "Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party."

"Frozen Fun" Sneak Peek at Disney California Adventure Park

"Anna & Elsa's Royal Welcome" provides an elegant new location for Anna and Elsa to receive visitors in the Disney Animation building in Hollywood Land. (Note: The Anna and Elsa meeting location in Disneyland Park will close at the end of the day on Dec. 19.) The colorful and varied animation experience already on display in the attraction's lobby will feature new scenes that pay tribute to Arendelle and the world of "Frozen." As they did in the previous location in Fantasyland, guests will utilize the Return Time Ticket to meet the characters, avoiding long wait times by securing a reservation time to return to the Royal Welcome. Elsewhere in the Disney Animation building, guests at the Animation Academy will be asked "Do You Want to Draw a Snowman?" - offering an Olaf drawing experience with an added Marshmallow-drawing class.

"For the First Time in Forever - A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration" transforms the Muppet*Vision 3D Theatre into the welcoming Crown Jewel Theatre of Arendelle, where Anna, Elsa and Kristoff take part in a comedic retelling of their story that features popular songs from the film. Two Arendellian Historians, acting as hosts, lead the festivities, with the "Frozen" characters making memorable appearances throughout. Some of the favorite musical sequences (and lyrics) are shown on large screens to make sure everybody enjoys all the fun.

"Olaf's Snow Fest" takes place next door to the Crown Jewel Theatre in Stage 17, which is transformed into a charming castle courtyard reminiscent of Arendelle. Music and lighting bring to life an immersive wintry environment for guests to meet and share a warm hug with Olaf. Kids of all ages will have fun in a giant play area with real snow where they are encouraged to build snow creations and zip down a snow slide. Guests who wish to observe the icy fun will have a nearby viewing area. A traveling musical duo, The Tubadors, will celebrate the tales of Arendelle in storytelling and song while, on their own stage, The Frolicking Fjords will present arrangements of Arendelle-themed tunes. Guests may enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, complete with snowman marshmallows, and decorate their own Olaf cookie, making memories that will warm their hearts.

"Freeze the Night! A Family Dance Party" invites guests to "chill out" in a family friendly setting inspired by the icy environment of "Frozen." Created for all ages, this interactive party celebrates "all things Frozen" with exciting music, games, photo opportunities, drinks and snacks, an ice sculptor, and plenty of interactive moments, all infused with a super-cool crackle of exhilarating energy.

Winter Celebration Continues at Disneyland Park and Downtown Disney

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, "Frozen Fun" celebrates its official launch with all the fun in Disney California Adventure, while a new "Frozen"-themed show opens in Disneyland at Fantasy Faire. The team of Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones will put their unique spin on the "Frozen" story as they adapt it for the Royal Theatre. As expected, they present the tale in their own inimitable way, with a fun-filled, fast-paced retelling of the story featuring their own wacky performances in key roles, along with Anna, Elsa and the Faire Maidens.

Additionally on Jan. 7, 2015, "Mickey's Soundsational Parade" resumes daily performances with Anna, Elsa and Olaf once again making a "pre-parade" appearance on their own special float.

When Storybook Land Canal Boats returns later this month, there will be a new addition to this charming and beloved Fantasyland attraction, with excursions through the world of "Frozen" offering views of the fjord-side village of Arendelle, including the stately castle where Anna and Elsa grew up, Wandering Oaken's Trading Post, and Elsa's mountaintop ice palace. The miniature locales of "Frozen" will find a new home among the familiar scenes of some of Disney's most enduring and timeless fairy tales, including "Pinocchio," "Cinderella," "Aladdin," and "The Little Mermaid."

Guests at Downtown Disney join the fun at "Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink" and the Downtown Disney Winter Village, in operation now through February 22, 2015. The Downtown Disney Winter Village chalets offer a variety of food, clothing and gift items. The 50-by-90-foot "Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink" features colorful graphics outlining the "Frozen" story and characters, with Olaf whimsically commanding the rink that bears his name. Sixty-minute skate sessions are scheduled between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursday, and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

December 6, 2014

2015 Events and Festivals at SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando Announces 2015 Event & Festival Schedule

ORLANDO, Fla (December 5, 2014) - SeaWorld Orlando announces its 2015 schedule of events and festivals, including the all-new Praise Wave®, a two-Saturday series that makes the park come alive with the hottest names in Christian music.

Events and concerts are included with park admission. The best way to experience all the fun, year 'round, is with an Annual Pass or Fun Card. Get more details at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

Wild Days -- Saturdays & Sundays, Jan. 24-25, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Feb. 7-8
An immersive event in every sense of the word, Wild Days connects guests to the wild and wonderful world we all share. Wild Days features exciting and interactive shows, giving guests the opportunity to meet the leaders in the world of animal rescue, rehabilitation, preservation and conservation.

Praise Wave® -- Saturdays, Feb. 14 & 21
Experience a day of fellowship and fun at SeaWorld's all-new Praise Wave. Enjoy SeaWorld's thrill rides and amazing shows and attractions, and mingle and meet in an atmosphere filled with Christian friendship. Catch live performances by the hottest names in Christian music. The evenings close with an extraordinary, uplifting Shamu show, created just for Praise Wave.

Bands, Brew & BBQ®, Honoring America's Heroes -- Saturdays & Sundays in March
With special discounts and offers for America's heroes, including all enlisted men and women and retirees from the military, Central Florida's favorite BBQ festival is now even better! Bands, Brew & BBQ features live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, the tastiest BBQ from the area's best local smokehouses, plus SeaWorld's own Sweet & Smokin' Barbecue. Proceeds from this event benefit the USO, an organization that has been lifting the spirits of America's troops and their families for more than 70 years. "We're thrilled to partner with SeaWorld and we appreciate their longstanding dedication to honoring the troops and retirees. Working together during Bands, Brew & BBQ, we can make a difference in the spirits of many service members and their families," said Roland Emerton, executive director of USO Central Florida.

Viva la Musica® -- Saturdays, April 25, May 2, 9 & 16
SeaWorld Orlando's Viva la Música is a fiery Latin festival for the entire family. Enjoy four weekends of hot concerts by the most popular Hispanic performers, and savor authentic cuisine by SeaWorld's own executive chef, Hector Colon.

50th Celebration -- Summer
There's a wave of summertime excitement sweeping across SeaWorld Orlando as we celebrate 50 years of family fun. Laugh to a new sea lion show, get thrills on roller coasters - like Manta® and Kraken® - and chills at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®. Top off the evening with rides under the stars, a special nighttime Shamu show and a fireworks finale that fills the sky.

Halloween Spooktacular® -- Weekends in October
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular is silly and spooky fun. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater "fantasea" including trick-or-treating, whimsical pumpkin fish, sea-themed arts and crafts and up-close animal encounters in a family-friendly event that could only come from SeaWorld.

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration™ -- Select dates, Nov. 21 through Dec. 31
Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration™. Guests of all ages enjoy stunning live shows inspired by the natural world, journey to the North Pole on THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience, and share a smile with the playful penguins at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®!

The best way to take in all of SeaWorld's events is with an Annual Pass starting at only $13 per month with EZpay. An Annual Pass offers unlimited admission with no blackout dates, free parking and discounts on food and merchandise. SeaWorld's Fun Card also is available. Pay for a day and play all year with unlimited admission and no blackout dates.
Get more details and purchase tickets, Annual Passes or Fun Cards at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

Event dates and times are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. Additional charges apply to all food items. Seating capacity for each concert is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Other restrictions may apply. For more information, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.


December 12, 2014

Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows Update

Disney's Polynesian Bungalows

The Disney Parks Blog has released new artist renderings of Disney's Polynesian Village, phase 1 opening in 2015. The 20 Bungalows (rendering above) will sleep up to eight guests each in a home-like setting reminiscent of the South Pacific. There will be plunge pools overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon, and the view of the fireworks over Magic Kingdom Park.

The Studios will be the largest Deluxe Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. The 360 Deluxe Studios will sleep up to five guests each and have the ability to connect to another Deluxe Studio, a first for the Disney Vacation Club.


Similar to Disney Cruise Line ships and The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the rooms will each have a bathroom separated into two areas, one with a shower and sink and the other with a sink and tub/shower. Plus, they also will have kitchenettes and enhanced storage space for convenience and comfort.

Polynesian Great Ceremonial House

A re-imagined Great Ceremonial House will welcome guests to a tropical destination where Disney magic meets South Seas hospitality. Also included is an enhanced feature pool and new food and beverage offerings, including the already open Pineapple Lanai (serving Dole Whip treats) and Trader Sam's Grog Grotto, which will feature exotic cocktails and Polynesian-themed small plates.

Disney's Polynesian Village Trader Sam's

Earlier this year, the resort opened a brand-new children's activity center called Lilo's Playhouse.

Inside Out - New Trailer from Disney*Pixar

Pixar's Inside Out
Opening in Theaters June 19, 2015

From an adventurous balloon ride above the clouds to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc.," "Up") has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In Disney-Pixar's original movie " Inside Out," he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all-inside the mind.

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

December 14, 2014

Monkey Kingdom - New Trailer

In US Theaters April 17, 2015

Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in "Monkey Kingdom," Disneynature's new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya's world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya's has more than its share of colorful personalities-and she's determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya's whole family is forced to relocate, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to lead them to untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son's future.

Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, "Monkey Kingdom" is directed by Mark Linfield ("Chimpanzee," "Earth") and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill ("Chimpanzee," "Bears"). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Shrek" movies), Disneynature's eighth True Life Adventure-the follow-up to 2014's "Bears"-swings into theaters April 17, 2015.


Set in the storied jungles of South Asia, "Monkey Kingdom" showcases the adventures of new mom Maya, a clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey who's determined to give her son a leg up in the world.

For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats.


December 17, 2014

Steakhouse STK Orlando to Open at Disney Springs in 2015


NEW YORK, NY - Dec. 17, 2014 - The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. ("The ONE Group") (OTCQB:STKS), known for developing upscale, high-energy restaurants, today announced plans to open a STK in Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. STK Orlando is expected to open in The Landing at Disney Springs in 2015, with the full completion of Disney Springs expected in 2016.

The new STK will be located within the waterfront setting of The Landing at Disney Springs, a completely re-imagined shopping, dining and entertainment complex that will double the number of shops and restaurants currently found at Downtown Disney. The Landing is the first phase of Disney Springs and will be home to unique and memorable dining experiences such as STK, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, plus a number of still-to-be-announced innovative restaurants and boutique shops.

STK's unique ambiance blends the elements of a modern steakhouse with a sleek lounge, including a DJ, emphasizing a social, fun environment. At approximately 14,000 square feet, the Orlando outpost will be one of the largest STK locations. STK Orlando will have two dining floors -- including a main level and the only rooftop dining venue in Disney Springs.

"We are thrilled to join the Disney Springs family with the launch of STK Orlando," said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group. "The combination of an innovative menu and high-energy atmosphere has driven the success of STK, and we believe it will be an ideal addition to Disney Springs, and will help further cement its status as a place for friends and family to gather for fine dining and entertainment."

Segal added, "Our entrance into the Orlando market represents another example of our continued growth strategy. We remain on track with our expansion plans for 2015 and hope to continue to partner with exciting world-class brands like Walt Disney Parks and Resorts moving forward."

"STK Orlando is a welcome new addition to Disney Springs. With its innovative, high-energy atmosphere, STK is the perfect complement to our growing array of dining, entertainment and shopping offerings," said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

About The ONE Group

The ONE Group is a global hospitality company that develops and operates upscale, high-energy restaurants and lounges and provides hospitality management services for hotels, casinos and other high-end venues both nationally and internationally. The ONE Group's primary restaurant brand is STK ®, a modern twist on the American steakhouse concept with locations in major metropolitan cities throughout the U.S. and in London. STK Rebel SM, a more accessibly priced STK ® with a broader menu, is an extension of the STK ® brand. The ONE Group's food and beverage hospitality services business, ONE Hospitality SM, provides the development, management and operations for premier restaurants and turn-key food and beverage services within high-end hotels and casinos. Additional information about The ONE Group can be found at www.togrp.com.

About Disney Springs

Representing the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, Disney Springs will be a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. With an air of sophisticated grace and design that harkens to Florida's waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century, Disney Springs will be home to four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods opening in phases: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. The Landing, as the first of the four neighborhoods and home to unique and memorable dining, is scheduled to open in spring 2015. When fully completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues - from the current 70 to approximately 150.

Disney Springs is part of the Walt Disney World Resort, the number one family vacation destination in the world, located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

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About December 2014

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in December 2014. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2014 is the previous archive.

January 2015 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.